Monday, October 10, 2016

Bras for Young Girls to wear under School Uniform

I recently had the opportunity to take a young girl shopping for her first bra.  I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of styles and colors offered in training bras for girls these days.  My first bra shopping experience was in a department store with a cranky sales woman.  You couldn't find girls bras in the girls department back then; you had to shop in the lingerie department with the inventory of bras designed to fit women with fully developed breasts. Back then a training bra was basically a smaller version of a women's bra, white fabric with a molded cup that started in size 30AA.

Why Girls Need Training Bras

Budding breasts are usually the first sign that a girl is entering puberty.  At first, it might feel like a lump under the nipple. It can be a bit painful and would understandably feel weird for a young girl. Budding breasts are also sensitive. Everyday fabrics may begin to irritate the nipple. Today's training bras are designed to cover the budding nipple with soft fabric and provide light compression to mask the awkward stage between a flat chest and when her the breast actually reaches the size to fit into that 30AA.

The First Bra Shopping Experience

Yes, having budding breasts as a young girl is awkward. But it is also normal. It is important to recognize that this is a critical time in adolescent emotional development. What we say and how we act may have a big impact on helping her develop a positive self-esteem and a healthy body image. When your daughter is ready, talk to her about breast development so she'll know what to expect. And when she is ready for her first training bra, make it a fun, girls only shopping experience to get a few basics bras to support her during this transition.

Based on my experience shopping for girls bras so far, I would recommend you avoid the traditional department stores and the specialty brand stores. I have found a wide selection of brands, styles and colors in girls training bras at discount department stores such as Target, Kohl's, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls, At the mall, Justice also has the nice selection of training bras.

I would also recommend you plan the shopping trip for a weekend afternoon when you have more time and aren't in a rush. Visit the aisle with the training bras, suggest the appropriate size, and point out the differences in styles. Encourage her to try on as many styles and colors as she wants. When in the dressing room, talk to her about how it should fit. Snugly around her chest, but not too tight. The cup, or cami in this case, should be flat against the skin, without gaps. Also, show her how to remove the molded cups and let her feel the difference with and without them. Hopefully, she'll find a style or two that she likes. When she does, let her put on her shirt over it for a minute to see the difference in how she looks and feels wearing a bra.

Look at these cute bras we found at our local Kohl's Department Store.

Girls Maidenform Stripe Seamless Crop Bra
Girls Maidenform Space-Dye Seamless Sports Bra

Girls Jockey 2-pk.
Heart Convertible Crop Bras
Nike Reversible Victory Sports Bra

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Buying Bras with her School Uniform in Mind

We found several cute ones in great colors, and others with fun cut outs and youthful trim.  My young shopper was most comfortable in the racer back sports bra style.   I told her that you cant wear a racer back with all types of tops. I showed her how the racer back straps are visible with most of her t-shirts since the straps on that style bra sit closer to the neck, We end up buying a whole pile of colorful, cute and age appropriate training bras for around $30. We also bought a cami style bra with traditional straps that she found tolerable.

She was a little nervous about wearing a bra to school because she'll be one of the first girls in her class to start wearing a bra.  She wondered if others would notice it and talked about what she might say if a friend asked her about it.  Since her uniform policy requires she wear a white polo shirt or a white t-shirt to school everyday, I showed her how a beige bra is less noticeable under a white shirt than a white bra. This made her feel better. I promised to buy her some beige bras to wear under her school uniform.

The Hunt for Beige or Nude Training Bras

I recommend a nude or beige training bra for young girls to wear under her uniform.  Unfortunately, I found very few choices. Here is one pullover style and one for those ready to try a traditional back closure.

Girls Maidenform Crop Bra
Girls Maidenform Solid Seamless Crop Bra

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Since my young shopper's favorite style was the racer back sports bra, I began looking for one in nude for her to wear with her school uniform. The collar on her polo tops hide the straps of a racer back bra from view. However, we can only find them in white. The white bra under the white shirt screams, hey look at me, I'm wearing a bra. And so, the hunt was on!

I struck out everywhere I looked.  I have searched every brick and mortar retailers and online store I can think of.  I found many cami styles that are offered in beige. Some brands offered them in 2 packs with one beige/one white.  But I cannot find a girls beige sports bra from any manufacture anywhere. I posted a plea on the Uniform Mom Facebook page asking for suggestions from other Moms.

One mom reported that her daughter loved a certain style from Hanes/Bali outlet store with thin racer back straps. Her reply even included a picture of it. I went to my local Hanes/Bali/Leggs outlet store and showed them the picture. The sales women there said they had never seen that style.  It's been 3 months and I still haven't found one. If you have, please share with us and add a link to it in the comments.

The Uniform Mom's Plea to Bra Manufactures

Thank you for offering so many styles and colors of training bras for young girls. Please, please consider adding a nude/beige racer back sports bra to your collection.  And offer them in 2 packs where both items are nude. Uniform wearing young girls and their Moms will thank you!

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